Anti-terrorism laws should not be unjust or inhumane, Pope Benedict warned yesterday.
Speaking to visiting bishops at the Vatican, the pope spoke of "the plague of violence and terrorism, the spread of extremism and fundamentalism" in parts of the world, Reuters reports.
"Certainly, such scourges should be contrasted with legislative interventions. But the force of law should never be allowed to be transformed into iniquity," he said in a speech to bishops from central Asia.
Human rights groups have protested against the treatment of terrorist suspects in a number of countries.
President George W. Bush's administration has come under fire in particular for its interrogation and detainment practices, such as waterboarding, particularly at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
End nuclear weapons
Meanwhile, Vatican representative, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti told the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency that humanity deserves to live in a world that is free from nuclear weapons, Catholic News Service reports.
The Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty, which aims to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, is "an important element for further development of nuclear energy applications for peaceful purposes" and "it must not be weakened,"Archbishop Mamberti said.
"Humanity deserves no less than the full cooperation of all states on this important matter," he said.
He was addressing the 52nd International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference, held in Vienna, Austria, this week.
Archbishop Mamberti said the Vatican urges government authorities to "resume with greater determination a progressive and mutually agreed dismantling of existing nuclear weapons."
"Global security must not rely on nuclear weapons and to that end governments must work together to support and enact the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty," he said. The treaty would ban nuclear explosions for military or civilian purposes. More than 40 countries must ratify the treaty for it to be enacted. The US, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have not yet ratified the treaty.
He said the Vatican is convinced the ratification and enforcement of this treaty would represent "a great leap forward for the future of humanity, as well as for the protection of the earth and environment entrusted to our care by the Creator."
Pope says laws against terrorism must be just (Reuters, 2/10/08)
Vatican official urges governments to rid world of nuclear weapons (Catholic News Service, 2/10/08)